“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)
I just finished speaking about having a faith perspective and choosing to trust God with one’s life. I also shared how I struggled in the fall of 2016 with believing God’s promises over the lies of the enemy. And today I want to share that choosing is an everyday action. While God wooed me and reminded me of His unconditional love all throughout 2017, there were still days I struggled. There were days I was tired emotionally and spiritually and I felt like giving up. There were days I didn’t see any forward motion and it felt like all progress was being lost.
However, that is when the faith perspective is the most important. Faith isn’t faith when we can see the finish line and everything has been revealed. Faith, true faith is continuing to walk toward the finish line when you aren’t even sure from a physical viewpoint there is a finish line to cross.
Monday was such a day for me. I woke up feeling crushed by the weight of hard. Life just seemed heavy and I was having problems finding my joy. Instead of God getting angry with me or impatient or saying something like, “Seriously, Cheri? Didn’t we go round this last year? I don’t have time to go around it again with you.” Nope. Instead He answered my unbelief with, “Instead of working today, sit with Me for a while. If you will choose spending time with Me, I will help you find your joy again.”
While it wasn’t instantaneous, it was authentic. I chose to sit in our big comfy chair that afternoon with a cup of coffee and three of my blessings journals. I chose to reread the words spoken over our family and God slowly showed me where He had already answered, where answers were in progress and even the hope of answers still to come. He reminded me of the various ways He had provided for our family in the past and gently instructed me to “Trust in Me, Cheri, with all of your heart” and “Do not worry – have I ever forsaken you – why would I now?”
So I realized I had a choice. I could choose to believe in the promises that God has given me over the years or not. I could choose to trust that God is truly my Abba Father and worthy of my trust… or not. I chose trust. I chose to believe again. And when I started viewing life from the faith perspective, again, God did indeed restore my joy.
It started as early as a few hours later. I felt God nudging me to bake banana bread for the teachers at school. Now, the next day was Halloween so I figured they would be getting extra treats already and wondered why God was nudging me in this direction. But instead of questioning His nudge, I simply made the banana bread because I trusted Him and got it ready to deliver on Tuesday.
Tuesday morning started out interesting. Our internet was slower than molasses and no work could be accomplished. So, since our oldest had an assignment due, I offered to drive him to college early to use their computers and then take our youngest to school after, instead of the usual “other way around.” I was worried our youngest would be late, but God was amazing and got us to his school with five minutes to spare. As we were walking to the front of the school with the banana bread ready to deliver, the fire drill went off. I can’t tell you how many teachers thanked me for a nice treat while they had to wait outside with 300+ kids during an unexpected blip to start their day. I was able to praise God to them and give Him the glory for the bread because after all, He is the One who suggested I make it the night before.
What started out as some major inconveniences (no internet, change in schedule and unexpected fire drill), God used for His glory. And when I got home, the internet was working just fine again and has ever since, with no assistance needed from me.
Fast forward to Friday… I was worried about finances, again. I kept reminding myself that God specifically told me only three days prior, “Do not worry – have I ever forsaken you – why would I now?” So, I made a choice. I could continue to worry and ruin my day or I could trust that God has always provided for us and remember that He never changes. Instead of worrying, I spent the ten minutes driving home thanking God for all His provisions, the blessings He has already given to us and telling Him I trusted Him for what we would continue to need.
God gave me another reminder of His unconditional love on that drive home – a deer. While it’s not unusual to see them in the Midwest in the fall, they aren’t usually standing in the middle of someone’s yard waiting for me, but this particular morning there was one. I stopped right then and admired the beauty of the deer, thanking God for His love and also the beauty that is all around me if I just stop long enough to look up and enjoy it. God used that moment to give me the heavenly perspective I needed to refocus.
Between pulling into the driveway and pulling out the checkbook, God reminded me of how He was going to provide this particular week. And He did! While I was praising Him for the provisions this week, I was tempted to start worrying about how He will provide in two weeks… until I remembered, I have a choice. Instead of worrying, which gets me nothing but an upset stomach, I’m choosing trust. And if God is willing to provide now… then He is not going to change and stop providing two weeks from now, two weeks from then, etc.
As I sit here typing these words I’m peaceful. Content. A very different person than I was on Monday. I’m choosing to live my life with a faith perspective. Will I need reminders to stay on track with my thinking? Yes. Will I continually have to be in God’s word to remind myself of His promises? Yes. And I think that’s the way God wants it. For us to continue to come to Him, trusting Him for all our needs, for our wants and giving our desires over to Him so that He can make them bigger and better, and yes, sometimes very different, than anything we could ever ask or imagine.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018